Looking to buy a home? Here are some essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get Your Finances in Order

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. The current Nashville market finds most sellers requiring proof of funding to accompany any offer, so having it all ready before you ever step inside a property can make or break your ability to buy a home you love.

Hire a Professional

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. Zillow and Trulia can’t tell you if the house smells like cat urine! That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. I ask all my buyers to fill out my buyers survey to get us on the same page as quickly as possible, so I don't waste a client's valuable time.

Tighten Up Social Media

Change privacy settings on Facebook and LinkedIn to the highest security settings possible, while still allowing people to Friend you. Use discretion on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram and do not post anything about your home search as it can be used against us during negotiations.

Avoid Big Expenditures

Buying or leasing a car would seem an obvious hit on your credit report, but did you know that paying off a student loan can have the same effect? Anything that requires a credit check or a significant hit to your savings will raise red flags with lenders. In order to get you the best terms and rate for your mortgage, consistently pay your bills on time and keep your credit clean.

Choose Accurate Apps/Websites

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to navigate the online market. Nashville’s MLS does not sync with Zillow/Trulia, so we recommend for the most accurate listings in real time using Realtracs, which is the public interface of the MLS system all licensed agents/brokers use. The mobile version of this is the Homesnap App. The app allows you to see which properties are already under contract, which is very helpful in a competitive market.

Use these tips to help you be organized and prepared to find your perfect home!